Statists who oppose the building of that mosque near the World Trade Center site are missing the point, and the reason they’re missing the point is that they simply cannot bring themselves to recognize that the problem is not with Islam or Muslims. The problem is with the U.S. government and specifically, its imperial, interventionist foreign policy that waged war against people in the Middle East for years prior to the 9/11 attacks.
In other words, the 9/11 terrorists did not attack New York and Washington because of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other religion. They attacked because they were retaliating for the horrible things that the U.S. government had done to people in the Middle East, most of whom happen to have been Muslims.
What bad things, you ask?
Well, how about the intentional and deliberate killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. If you want to read the sordid details on how that took place, go to this page on The Future of Freedom Foundation’s website or, better yet, purchase and read a copy of Joy Gordon’s new book Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions.
The U.S. Empire killed those kids with one of the most brutal systems of economic sanctions in history. Since 99 percent of the population of Iraq is Muslim, the odds are that 99 percent of those dead Iraqi children were Muslim.
Now, that’s not to say that the U.S. government killed those children because they were Muslim. It’s simply to say that the kids they killed in Iraq were Muslims.
Why did they kill those children? Because they hoped that Saddam Hussein would leave office rather than continue to watch his own people die from the sanctions. They were using the Iraqi children as the means by which to pressure him into relinquishing power in favor of a U.S.-approved ruler.
The strategy didn’t work. Saddam let the children die, as did the U.S. government, year after year after year.
Did U.S. officials express any remorse for killing all those kids? Are you kidding? It was the exact opposite — they felt that the killing of those children was “worth it.” That was the precise phrase used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright when “Sixty Minutes” asked her if the deaths of half-a-million children from the sanctions had been worth it. Her response reflected the official position of the Empire: “I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
Not surprisingly, people throughout the Middle East were boiling over with anger over these deaths and the callous, indifferent attitude toward the deaths. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that the people who were boiling over with anger and rage happened to have been Muslim, simply because the children who were dying were Muslim.
Adding fuel to the fire was the U.S. government’s unconditional flow of foreign-aid largess to the Israeli government; the stationing of U.S. troops, most of whom had to have been Christians and Jews, on the holiest lands in the Muslim religion — Mecca and Medina; and the illegal no-fly zones that were being used to kill even more Iraqis.
As Ron Paul put it in his famous presidential debate exchange with Rudy Giuliani, “They attack us because we’ve been over there, we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East. I think Reagan was right. We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics.”
When will Americans come to see that the never-ending terrorist crisis, along with the concomitant loss of our civil liberties, is rooted in U.S. statism, imperialism, and interventionism rather than in religion? When will they stop treating the U.S. government like a god?